Hey TPers. obviously your mom didn't ignore you when you threw yourself down on the floor and had a royal hissy fit because you did not get your way. These were the moms and dads who ran in there and soothed you when you began to wind up into a giant conniption fit by letting you have anything and everything you wanted. In other words they spoiled you rotten ~ which every single decent parent knows indulging you like that will only lead to childish, out of whack adults.
My name is Cat Sullivan and I am a long time advocate and activist for low income people. I am a lifelong Seattle resident although at this time I live outside of Seattle because being low income myself, housing costs in Seattle are not affordable.
Our Lake City community Homeless Taskforce participated in our last One Night Count a couple weeks ago, which silently counts those who are sleeping on the streets. This count found exactly 3,772 souls ~ but this is not the whole picture of how many Puget Sound residents are truly homeless. The modest estimate is more like 10,000 homeless as they could not count those who are staying with friends and relatives, those who are hunkered down in places we could not find, or in other places such as those who live in motor homes and tent cities. Worse and more alarming is that the Superintendent of Public Instruction found 32,494 students without a home! One should be asking how these kids can concentrate on their school work when they do not even know where they will sleep that night?
More over the squiggley thingy ...
Horace Bothroyd III recently wrote an article about his frustrations on trying to be in the mainstream as far as any electronic access. His difficulties are a common theme for many of us who live as "financially challenged" people. He and other low income people have good reasons for this frustration and it even has an Official Name! It is called "The Digital Divide" and the government recognizes and uses this term as a sort of "official description" as to why the low income and especially the homeless are being disenfranchised from the mainstream,.
What is the Digital Divide? What does that mean?
Well, on the ground, the Digital Divide means that, even though the media is considered in essence a "utility", the upper classes can afford access to the Internet, television, and radio ~ but these forms of paid media is simply not affordable for the low income. Even though they are being denied this diverse access that so much of their community depends upon, few low income folks can access these forms of media without paying. This is the Digital Divide ...
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In the weeks after 911, I was attending college and saw that my Muslim sisters were noticeably absent from school. So I began to wear a head scarf in solidarity with them. But I learned quickly about how brave these women must be. The 2nd day while waiting for the bus, a car whizzed by with a group of people jeering at me. They went around the block and came back, shouting hateful words. I tried to ignore them, and pretend I did not hear what they were saying when a rock whizzed by my head, and I heard the whoooosh as it passed my ear, missing my head by inches. It made a loud thud as it hit the back of the bus shelter and the car sped away, echoing with the sound of their "triumphant" laughter.
In that instant I realized I could have been killed by strangers who did not even know who I was. The rock was about the size of an adult fist and it was a graphic lesson as to how courageous these women are wearing their head scarf while keeping down the fear hanging over the heads that they endured every day. This subtle fear that was occurring every day in my country where freedom of religion was one of the reasons it began. What the hell?
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I was asked to expand a comment I made into a diary here: http://www.dailykos.com/... so here goes.
I am no theologian but I am sometimes amused and frustrated by fundamentalists who waste their time railing against abortion, women's reproductive rights, thinking the rich "deserve" more, working rights, and the like because their hypocrisy intentionally overlooks pretty much everything their religion teaches. Worse, they overlook the most central and important issue within their teachings; the issue of poverty and more broadly the social injustices they should be called to defend.
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God I am mad about this welfare "debate". Here is my answer while spitting nails to R-Money AND Progressives:
Hatred of the poor is rampant and long lasting. Over 15 years ago when Welfare Reform was being enacted, the blame of the Welfare Queen on the low income mom was a concerted diversion from the REAL Welfare Queens; the rich, large corporations and the military. At that time in 1996, the rich and corporations paid less than 8% in revenues (where the poor and middle class paid upwards of 60% and small businesses paid the rest). The military in peace time was taking 47% of the budget and welfare was less than 4% of the budget. Now the military takes 57% of this revenue, welfare less than 2%.
But ohhhh, we cannot look at the bloated military, tax fairness, the economy, the health care crises, rising prices for necessities, or the housing boondoggle, let us blame the welfare mom who cannot defend herself instead! Low income moms should GET TO WORK making rich men richer, sheesh!
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I am a long time activist for low income people. I hear tragic stories every day and when I bring them to my legislators or stakeholders, I usually get a big yawn. I will most likely get the same yawns for posting this story. Who gives a damn about the homeless and poor? Aren't homeless people like Anna nothing but a bunch of losers, drug addicts and alcoholics (unlike the upper classes who are worse but of course we don't count THEM as clogging up our health care facilities with their aches and pains)?
As sad as I am about Trayvon Martin, I am also sad about this woman, a mother of 2, homeless and destitute who died because the hospital she went to refused to help her. When she insisted she needed medical assistance (God forbid, the nerve!), they handcuffed her and sent her to jail because they thought she was on drugs.
The stereotypes about the poor literally KILLED this beautiful woman.
Many of us who have been decades-long activists and advocates for low income people and who are savvy to the conditions of poverty, lament a great deal about the media's concentration on the middle class and how it is falling.
While we are glad that FINALLY this issue is gaining attention, as we have been proclaiming for decades that right underneath America's noses are the people in poverty who've been there all along. Our sorrow, while getting flamed by so-called "progressives", is that the middle class began to see their own situation as somehow "different" and this has been something to behold. I think I will scream if I hear one more time from someone who has fallen from their 6 figure job, "I did all the right things. I raised my kids in the Church. I went to college. I was civic-ally minded. I paid all my taxes. I obeyed the law. I was not a drug addict..."
Like we poor WEREN'T doing and being all those things too?????? GGGGRRRRRR!
I wrote the following as a comment to Leftrev's diary about his church member Andrea. I decided to make it a diary and hopefully improve it a little because it cannot be said enough to everyone in the Kos community and beyond, that poverty is an institution, it is not a personal choice.
Letter below the squiggles
August 4, 2011 Testimony For Work and Other Welfare Goals
I could not help but notice that on the front page of the US Ways and Means website is a BIG announcement proudly proclaiming: “OBAMA SLAMS THE DOOR ON NEW TAXES!!!!”
I wish that “slamming the door on new taxes” were true for the poorest of the poor in your perspective states. Thanks to all this "door slamming", they will now face the additional burden of even more “trickle down” state taxing that will hurt low income families and the elderly in your districts. Here is a state-by-state synopsis of the terrible tax burden already being imposed for taxes on the poor. It shows that that in the entire nation they pay on the average of 3-5 X the proportion of their meager incomes in taxes than our richest 1%: http://itepnet.org/....
You may not like what I have to testify about, but you can rely on it being the truth for many of us.
There is a misguided assumption that is really nothing new and it is not true. This assumption is that poverty is a choice when in fact poverty is an institution based on racism, disabilities, sexism, ageism and classism. This misled assumption has been devastating for the poor. Poverty is an extremely destructive institution for which you are authorized as elected officials to dismantle since it hurts millions of American citizens.
Over and over I am hearing the meme that, "the poor do not pay taxes". WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!
Please People try to focus here.
I am a low income person, and I can tell you I pay more taxes than one of the richest men in the world who lives in my state ~ Bill Gates. BTW, Mr Gates along with a PACCAR heiress and others in my state even put out a video begging that they pay something near the taxes I pay. This is because they know that indeed, THE POOR PAY MORE TAXES THAN THEY DO.
More over the fold.
I don't remember how I got subscribed to ArcaMax, probably some dummass pol I took or something. They send out those junk emails and cartoons. I usually just deleted them anyway because most of their stuff was just ads, but I liked that they published old comic strips I used to read as a kid.
Now I know why so many ads. Here is what I got tonight and I immediately unsubscribed along with an angry letter to their editor that will follow the quote of what they sent out...
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